Handmade Tamagotchi-like robots creatures that have emotions. Their emotions change while they communicate with each other, and they would tweet their emotional states on Twitter.
This collaborative workshop project that I participated in with other Openlab members was funded and hosted by Space Studio at SPACE Studios, Hackney, London. A collective of 20+ artists, designer, makers, musicians takes on the task of creating an interactive, living ecosystem of machine “life”.
Its purpose is to explore the relationship between the world around us, and “creatures” which the project participants create. As the Internet becomes increasingly embodied and made physical, our relationship with it inevitably changes. A number of disparate real-life concepts – evolution, husbandry, breeding, technological ubiquity – into an event which enabled the participants to then consider these concepts themselves, and their relationship with them.Using developments and technologies such as RFID, Twitter, Arduino, Jeenode, digital sound, and LED lighting, we created an ecosystem of little machines that live, grow, reproduce, communicate, and die with one another, based on Conway’s classic Game of Life; machines need tending to by humans (“machine husbandry”), encouraging an evolutionary process of genetic algorithms embedded in the creatures. If left alone, the creatures will die of neglect and loneliness. By interacting with this small slice of digital ecology in a public exhibition, people can draw their own conclusions about our complex and interdependent relationship between technology and the “natural” world.
My role in this project was to bring out the “conceptual design” side of the project- working on a conceptual level, working out issues of artistic intention, human interaction, as well as the conceptual relationship between the different parts.
‘The Life Project’ had been presented in Electronic Visualisation and the Arts London conference in July 11-13, 2012.
Link to the paper: http://ewic.bcs.org/content/ConWebDoc/46114